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Falcon chicks keep Lincoln Cathedral staff on their toes

Workers at Lincoln Cathedral and RSPB volunteers have had their hands full with this year’s family of peregrine falcon fledglings – even resulting in a few rescue missions.

This will be the eighth year the falcons have chosen Lincoln Cathedral as the location to have their chicks.

The three new chicks bring the total number of Peregrines born there to 16.

Two male and one female juveniles joined the family. One of the males is at Wirefield Wildlife Hospital, the other two juveniles are still with the parents at Lincoln Cathedral.

This year, the birds have chosen a higher point to nest in. The positioning meant the the RSPB’s live webcam could not be set up.

The birds, which usually lay their eggs on high cliffs, are one of the fastest breeds in the UK flying at speeds of up to 200mph.

Peregrine Falcons are protected birds and cannot be handled by unauthorised persons.

While the chicks find their wings, volunteers are at hand to assist with the rescues. So far, one male and one female have been grounded and brought back to their watchpoint.

The female chick, fondly named Carole, after the Lincoln Cathedral Works Manager, was rescues after it fell from the nest to the ground. Photo: Eddy Chandler
The female chick, fondly named Carole, after the Lincoln Cathedral Works Manager, was rescues after it fell from the nest to the ground. Photo: Eddy Chandler

RSPB volunteer Eddy Chandler, who regularly helps out at the Lincoln Peregrines Watchpoint, said: “I rescued one of the three juveniles who had landed on the ground near the cathedral sundial, which is where there is provision for the fire department to park.

“The young female had only just fledged the nest that morning at around 11am and myself and Anthony Hills (RSPB Staff) were alerted to the chick on the ground.

“With the help of a gentleman providing some gloves and the Cathedral Shop providing a cardboard box I rescued her and took her back up the tower with the great help of one of the vergers.

“We named the female juvenile peregrine ‘Carol’ after the head of the Works Department Carol Heidschuster who visited the watchpoint earlier that morning.”

Eddy explained how the cathedral’s Main Tower makes the perfect resting point for the Peregrines. He added: “The nest is just a scrape and the female makes a bowl into the gravel or loose stone.

“Work currently going on at the cathedral does not seem to bother the Peregrines and nor do the bells when they chime for the time.”

The RSPB Lincolnshire branch will be greeting visitors from their marquee near the statue of Tennyson on the cathedral grounds every weekend until July 27.

Visitors will be able to view the falcons with special scopes and have their questions answered.